Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tools (Treats) of the Trade

This morning I've spent some time on the Daniel Smith website drooling over all the endless products available for purchase.  It's kind of like picking out the best piece of candy in that box of chocolates.....they're all good, but you always have a favorite.

Recently I cleaned my palette and refilled it with the colors of choice for my current paintings.  I do have some favorites and tend to choose colors based on my test sheet I did almost a year ago. 

While squeezing out more paint, I've noticed certain tubes are past their prime.  The paint is really thick and almost impossible to coax out onto the palette.  I think it's time for new paint.  Winsor Newton has dominated my paint tackle box for the main reason of availability.  However I'm very intrigued by the Daniel Smith watercolors....everyone raves about them.  In an interest to try them out, I'm tempted to purchase one of their dot try it cards.  I'd also like to know what YOUR favorites are and how you use them.....for instance in florals, animals, landscapes, etc.  If you've purchased on of these sheets, I'd been interested on your thoughts about that as well.

My birthday is Sunday, I keep hinting to my boys that art supplies make for a great gift......we'll see.

Here's my current palette.


  1. Happy Birthday to you this week. I hope you get your art supplies. When I was a little girl my parents would let us choose what we wanted for our birthdays, my sister and brothers would all choose toys but I always opted for art supplies. :-)

  2. Hello Gretchen, I've been using Yarka, Russian watercolors in blocks that have amazing color even though I found out they are considered to be student grade. I recently found out about the Daniel Smith site too and have been checking it out. I didn't see the dot card though. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I started out using Daniel Smith paints and have never seem any reason to change. They are creamy, long-lasting, and their variety of colors is outstanding. That doesn't mean Winsor Newton watercolors aren't as great - they probably are. But I love the Quinacridones and use Quin Rose, Quin Coral and Quin Burnt Orange in everything, as well as an Azo Yellow (I switched to this lemony yellow after using Hansa Yellow Light for years) and New Gamboge. When I started painting, I wanted every new color that came around but now stick to those colors I use all the time and mix my own color combos. So Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Turquoise, French Ultramarine, Prussian Blue, and Cerulean (I do love my blues!) are on my palette and then I pick up and try others at times. Daniel Smith has a lot of great granulating colors, too. I think trying out the dots is a good way to test drive a lot of colors without the expense of buying them all :) And a gift certificate from your boys so you can choose is always a good thing! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I believe in early wishes and late wishes and making that birthday last for at least a week :)

  4. Gretchen- Happy Birthday! I use mostly Winsor Newton also, lately have heard good things about Graham. I know the Graham oils are nice, but don't know about the watercolors. I say try the sheet so you can test them yourself! Happy shopping!

  5. A very happy birthday to you! May you get all your heart desires!

    I'm a sticker to W&N artist quality paints. I like how they behave tube after tube after pan. I like the comfort of knowing exactly what I'm getting. The downside is, I can't blame the tools if I muck a painting up :lol:

  6. Thanks for the pre-birthday wishes everyone! true, however as a kid I mostly asked for horse related items too.

    Carol, I'll have to check those out...haven't heard of them.

    Rhonda...I'm taking notes on the colors you suggested. I'll have to get that test card and pay close attention to those.

    Sheryl and Pat....I can't say I have any complaints about my W&N, however I don't have anything to compare them too. I may just have to try the Daniel Smith and see if there is much difference. Thanks for all the great comments.

  7. You will LOVE the DS colors - made in America (imagine that!) And, I have had a problem with a tube; I called them and they replaced it! Isn't that great!
    I agree with Rhonda - any of the quinacridones, esp. Quin. gold! Also Indanthrone blue. Lunar earth is amazing. You might just get a sampling of colors you normally use to see how they compare and then add as you need more colors. I saw those cards in the catalog; it might be a good idea to order and actually use the colors in your normal fashion to see how they work for you. And - I'm a walking, talking ad for this product - check out the Possum palette. DS carries it; a bit pricey, but keeps your colors moist. Hmmmmm, new, juicy, creamy paint in a brand new palette - ahhhh, doesn't that make you want to smile! Sorry to be so lengthy - but I LOVE Daniel Smith!

  8. Deb.....nice to hear SOMETHING is made in America! Also nice to hear DS has good customer service. I think I will order the test card and play with the paints. I'll have to check out some of your paintings again too now that I know you use Daniel Smith. Thanks for the comment.

  9. I mostly have W&N a few American Journey from Cheap Joe's and a few Daniel Smiths. When I ordered from DS they sent me a test strip on two greens for me to try. The 2 dots lasted me for awhile and I really liked the colors by themselves and mixed with another color. I, too saw the test card and have contemplated getting it so that I could play with the colors before I bought more paint.
    I hope you have a Happy Birthday and get those art supplies you so much desire.

  10. Gretchen, I wish you a super Happy Birthday and hope that you will get a lot of new watercolor paints to try:-)
    DS is not available in my local art supply stores, but I have tried their Moonglow - wow, what an interesting granulating paint! I am really tempted to order a few of their colors.

  11. Art supplies definitely make a fantastic birthday gift. Hope you got your wish.

    Sorry I missed your special day on Sunday. Hope you had a lovely birthday.




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